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Chapter 7: The Press under Scrutiny: Self-Regulation and Ethics

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The Press under Scrutiny: Self-Regulation and Ethics
The press under scrutiny: Self-regulation and ethics

Sexual intercourse began in 1963, we are told in Philip Larkin's celebrated poem ‘Annus Mirabilis’, which is Latin for wonderful year. We can be equally precise about the genesis of newspaper ethics. The UK press had its Annus Horribilis, or year of misfortune, between April 1989 – when the Sun outraged Merseyside by defaming the victims of the Hillsborough disaster – and February 1990 – when the Sunday Sport invaded the hospital room of a popular TV actor who was recovering from a car accident caused by a hurricane. National newspaper editors of the time were famously warned by culture minister David Mellor that they were ‘drinking in the Last Chance Saloon’, ...

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